So you want to be a comedian

There’s comedy, and there’s comedy, and then there’s more comedy. As they say in the comedy business, one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. Here’s four approaches you might want to consider:

Telling It Like It Is


Folk Songs



Alfred Hitchcock, Comedian

Happy 2023, y’all. I would like to introduce Alfred Hitchcock as a master of humor. Enjoy.

Hitchcock, Introduction

Hitchcock, the Practical Joker

Hitchcock, the Punster

Dead Bodies

Visual Humor

Alan Rickman Reigns

It’s been a while since Alan Rickman left us. I miss him and all the wonderful movies he would have done. So much so that I have a new word for you to add to your vocabulary. It is alan-rickman-esque. It means: it’s not what he said, it’s how he delivered the words. Who else could deliver the line: “Call off Christmas” as Alan Rickman did in “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” and get away with it? Who else could play Marvin the Robot in “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”?

I first came to appreciate Alan Rickman’s alan-rickman-esque charm when he played Professor Snape in the Harry Potters. I liked Mr. Rickman so much I started rooting for Snape. Just the way he said “Harry Potter” would have me in stitches. Not even Tim Curry could do that, and Tim Curry does have a certain alan-rickman-esque quality about him.

When I am having a really bad day, I ask the universe, “Where’s Alan Rickman when I need him?” So you can imagine my delight when I discovered the movie “Bottle Shock”. It could have been a dark and stormy night, and I would have watched it. I could have been the best of times or the worst of times, and I would have watched it. You could just call me Ishmael, and I still would have watched it. The genius, the greatest English actor of his time without an Academy Award, was in this movie.

On top of that, it’s about wine. California wine, that is. When was the last time you saw a movie about wine? They don’t make movies about wine, now do they? I did a google search and didn’t find many.There’s Eric Rohmer’s “Autumn Tale (which is unavailable in the U.S.), “Sideways” (nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture), “The Secret of Santa Vittoria” with Anthony Quinn playing an Italian and “Year of the Comet” with the wonderful Penelope Ann Miller. There are a couple of horror films and three with big stars, but not recommendable. Most are documentaries. Only goes to show you how hard it is to make a good movie about wine. “Bottle Shock” is a good movie about wine. Napa wines, to be exact.

There’s three things that are for sure. Forty-two is the answer. It’s a long way to temporary. And, if you are looking for an alan-rickman-esque performance, Alan Rickman is your man. In “Bottle Shock”, he is exerting that alan-rickman-esque-ness of an answer to this question, “Why don’t I like you?”: “You think I’m an asshole. And I’m not really. I’m just British…and well, you’re not.”

By the way, according to Dr. Vinny of the Wine Spectator, “‘Bottle shock’ or ‘bottle sickness’ are terms used to describe a temporary condition in a wine where its flavors are muted or disjointed. There are two main scenarios when bottle shock sets in: either right after bottling, or when wines (especially fragile older wines) are shaken in travel.”

So pour yourself a glass of chardonnay and slice yourself some cheese. Then sit yourself down and have an enjoyable good time watching the very original alan-rickman-esque actor, Alan Rickman, in “Bottle Shock”. There’s a lot worse ways to spend an evening.


To celebrate the end of hurricane season.

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Perhaps one day someone will ask me what I did during the fall of  2022. I will tell them that a major hurricane and a half invaded Florida, gobbled her up, had a good chew and spat her out, and I was there. Ian and Nicole had their honeymoon crossing back and forth across Florida and left us with a big gulp in our throats and a thank-you on our lips for not destroying more than they did. We got whopped by Mother Nature not once but twice and almost drowned us out of existence. The only good thing that came out the sound and the fury was that we got to use use those exotic terms in our vocabulary, words we thought we retired like“debris”  and “evacuate,” phrases like “category zilch” and “hunker down.”

Those whoppers gave me a roller coaster ride to plan my weekends around. To check out the storms, I went to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. It’s abbreviated NOAA. Pronounced Noah. Last time we heard from that guy, he had wrecked his ark on a mountain. That’s what happens when you use a dove for a gps. Because of all the weather changes predicted for the near future, maybe he’ll start selling arks. According to Nostradamus, the entire Florida peninsula will be underwater soon, and I’m going to need a boat.

If I had lived in ancient times, I might have thought that Jehovah was doing an Old Testament on us sinners. Or that Zeus was in a tiff and hot under the collar because some woman he chased rejected his advances.

Maybe, if we Floridians had sacrificed a virgin or two in the spring, the hurricanes would have gone off to Texas or Louisiana and left us alone. Then we could have played the “I’m sorry you were hit, but I’m glad it wasn’t us” game we’ve played for so many years before. This year they got to play it on us.

Florida was hit by storms so bad that the schools here now use them to teach the kids their math. How many pounds of ice does it take to keep a twelve-pound turkey frozen for six days without electricity? How many grains of sand does it take to keep a condominium from falling into the Atlantic Ocean? How many pontoons will I need to keep my house afloat?

All I have to say is that whoever was doing a rain dance in September, quit it.

How the Greech Stole My Novel

Back in the way way backs before the Pandemic That Could, I wrote a novel. And what better month to start a novel than February. I couldn’t wait til the November-writing month of November. The idea ran off with me and wouldn’t let go. So I had little choice.

Now this novel had a heroine who knew how to heroine. It had a hero who had gotten the hero-ing down lickety-split. There were castles and more castles. Queen Victoria even put in an appearanceThere were bandits and more bandits, and ghosts and more ghost. The ghosts kicked the heroine off the plantation. The boat sank. And the heroine was locked up in a nunnery. And reader took the Grand Tour to Istanbul, Constantinople before she made off for Egypt.

The novel took me months to chip away and let the story out of the marble. When I completed the tome, I sat back, lit muself a cigar and grinned. I had come to the end of my masterpiece. Somehow, I worked through all the jokes, and all the times when I didn’t want to write the damned thing. It was done, and I was a happy man. I  saved my work and closed the file. I went to the kitchen, took a grand puff on my cigar and a drink of pinot. Soon the glass was empty. I poured a second glass and walked back to my computer with a big smile on his face. 51,717 words. I was proud of himself.

Lady Whats-her-name had adventures up the wazoo and who knew? Maybe the next novel might bring more adventures. I had only one more thing to do. Upload my words to my online drive. Before he did, there was just one itsy-bitsy change he wanted to make. Change THE END to FINALE. I sat down at the computer, opened the file that contained my grand saga and looked at the page. I was stunned.

The words, all 51,717 of them, had been erased. Where was my work, my months of staying up late and typing out nonsense into the word processor? Hours of trying to think up crap for a useless extravaganza of an exercise.

I stared at the monitor. Suddenly a big mouth appeared on the screen. It said in the crudest possible way, “I’m hungry and I want more words. More words, if you please.”